Sir David King: Half Right on the IPCC and Global Warming Policies, Despite Bad Logic

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

http://www.ox.ac.uk/images/maincolumn/5696_David_King.jpgSir David King, erstwhile Chief Scientific Adviser to Her Majesty’s Government, famous for his claim that “climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today—more serious even than the threat of terrorism,” had an op-ed in the Telegraph over the weekend, in which he notes that the IPCC runs against the spirit of science. [Full disclosure: I have previously tangled with Sir David on the pages of Science magazine, here.] He states, absolutely correctly in my opinion:

“Faced with the social need to tell the world what the science says, the IPCC was set up as a means of seeking consensus. My concern has always been that it runs against the normal spirit of science.” [Quotes are italicized; emphasis added.]

He explains, “In science, people are supposed to rock the boat,” and ideas have to survive “ordeal by fire.”  So thank you, Sir David, for endorsing skepticism and the scientific method. In our world, that cannot be repeated often enough.

  • He then notes that:

“emails from scientists at the University of East Anglia suggest that certain members of the IPCC felt that the consensus was so precious that some external challenges had to be kept outside the discussion. That is clearly not acceptable.

“Moreover, this leads to the danger that people will go beyond the science that is truly reliable, and pick up almost anything that seems to support the argument [such as] saying that all ice would vanish from the Himalayas within the next 30 years … When I heard Dr Pachauri, the head of the IPCC, declare this at Copenhagen last December I could hardly believe my ears. This issue is far too important for scientists to risk crossing the line into advocacy.” [Emphasis added.]

So far, so good.  Sir David recognizes that one can be a scientist or an advocate, but not both at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive. That is because skepticism is integral to the scientific method which, in turn, is the essence of science. On the other hand, advocacy eschews skepticism of one’s position.

Sir David’s revisionist Apologia for IPCC’s transgressions

But then he offers an apologia for these “scientists”:

“However, it’s not all the IPCC’s fault.  Climate scientists have been forced into this corner by a disastrous combination of cynical lobbying and a misguided desire for certainty. The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels, seeks to use any challenge to undermine the entire body of science. The drive for consensus has come to some extent because the scientific community (me included) has become frustrated with this willful misuse of the scientific process.” [Emphasis added.]

This is revisionism.  First, “climate scientists” were not forced into any corner. They chose to move into that corner freely. The IPCC could have summarized salient points without exaggerating the consequences of climate change had they been upfront with caveats, and heeded comments to avoid sins of omissions.

Second, it was not lobbyists for “vested interests in fossil fuels” that badgered IPCC scientists into exaggerating the rate of Himalayan glacier melt, omitting estimates of the decrease in the population at risk of water shortage, or eschewing comparisons of the relative contribution of climate change to malaria or hunger. Nor was it these interests that lobbied for expressions of greater certainty from the IPCC about the science, impacts and policies related to climate change. In fact, that pressure came from environmental NGOs, multilateral organizations, European governments, and the governments of small island nations, and proclamations of powerful people and leaders of various institutions. These pronouncements included, in addition to Sir David King’s claim that “climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today–more serious even than the threat of terrorism,” repeated claims that “the science is settled” (e.g., Al Gore), or that climate change is the most important environmental problem facing the globe this century (Presidents Clinton and Chirac, and PM Blair).

This onslaught was accompanied by efforts to marginalize and ridicule those who looked askance at either the science or, if they accepted the science, their favored policy prescription, namely, massive and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. For the longest time — until the Delhi Ministerial Declaration at COP-8 in November 2002 — it was almost taboo to even suggest adaptation. Dissenters and non-conformists were labeled “skeptics” and “flat earthers”, as if skepticism were anathema, forgetting that it took skepticism to reject the age-old consensus that the earth was flat. This offensive silenced many dissenters and would-be dissenters. But despite this onslaught, there remained a hard core that would not hew to the orthodoxy. Accordingly, some raised the rhetorical stakes by attaching the term “deniers” with its ugly connotations, to the skeptics.

Thus, if anyone forced or badgered the IPCC into dropping caveats, insisting that the science was more certain than warranted, and embellishing climate change impacts and their severity, it was the greens, their groupies and their political allies. It was their pressure that led some IPCC scientists to become complicit in the war against the scientific method, as is revealed in their failure to defend skepticism; in their occasional use of “skeptic” as a pejorative (see here); and in their efforts to keep skeptical papers out of the peer reviewed literature, and viewpoints out of IPCC reports.

The “Schneider Trap”: A Scientist cannot be an Advocate at the same time

Another reason for scientists crossing the line into advocacy that Sir David sweeps under the rug is the possibility that many of the scientists were themselves not disinterested participants. One of the minor revelations in the CRU e-mails — in case one doubted it — is that scientists and science institutions are not disinterested in obtaining funding. In the US alone, annual funding for the Climate and Global Change Research Program exceeds $2 billion. Over the past few years there has been an explosion of institutes worldwide to study climate change funded not only by governments but philanthropies and foundations. [Sir David, for instance, is the Director of Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment which is funded by both public and private sources.]  Obviously, such sums would not be forthcoming were it shown that climate change, even if it’s happening, is no big deal. So scientists—and non-scientists—in the business of “climate science” have a vested interest in suggesting not only that global warming may be happening but that its impacts could be large, if not severe or catastrophic.

The “Schneider Trap”.  Then, of course, as Stephen Schneider has noted:

“On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

The problem with this is that it assumes that one can be a scientist and advocate simultaneously.  For lack of a better term, I’ll call this the “Schneider Trap.” But, as recognized by Sir David and argued above, these two roles are mutually exclusive.  Unfortunately, some IPCC “scientists” have fallen into the Schneider Trap.  But they chose to be advocates willingly, thereby ceasing to be scientists, in my opinion. This might explain why, at critical junctures, the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers sometimes presents information that makes the impacts of global warming seem far worse than it actually might be, as noted on these pages and elsewhere (see here and here).

Logical fallacies regarding the cause of climate change

The most revealing part of Sir David’s op-ed, however, is the following passage which illustrates a pitfall that those with insufficient skepticism can fall victim to:

“We know from thermometers and satellites that temperatures have risen at least 0.8C. There is now massive monitoring of the loss of land ice around the planet, including the ground-breaking double satellite gravitational measurements. We have robust data on rising sea levels, the acidification of our oceans, and the spectacular multidimensional details of how climate has changed in the past.”

Given all this evidence, it’s ridiculous to say this that human-induced climate change isn’t happening, absurd to say we don’t understand why, and any suggestion that we have nothing to worry about is like making a very bad bet.” [Emphasis added.]

This is poor logic. Just because one detects warming, it does not follow that it is necessarily human-induced.  These paragraphs point to one of the major disagreements between climate change skeptics and “conformists.” Most skeptics do not dispute that it has warmed, although most, in my opinion, are skeptical that we know the amount of warming with sufficient accuracy to make quantitative pronouncements about how much or how fast it has warmed during the past century.  And they certainly would not conclude that because it is warming, human beings must necessarily be responsible.

And how does it follow logically that given the evidence of climate change, it’s “absurd to say we don’t understand why”?

Sir David then compounds these errors in logic by insisting, “We know that we need to decarbonise our economy, so let’s do it.” But what is the basis for this claim? This assumes not only that human beings are necessarily responsible for whatever warming we might have seen, but also that the human contribution is (largely) through the CO2 route.  But what about other factors, such as soot, changes in land use and land cover, etc.? And, of course, it also assumes that the impacts will be, on the whole, negative, and that adaptation will be MORE costly than mitigation. But none of these have been shown to be the case. At best, they remain plausible hypotheses. It was precisely such hypotheses that the IPCC was originally formed to assess impartially and critically — something it seems to be failing at.

If a scientist as distinguished as Sir David King, once HMG’s Chief Scientific Adviser, could make such fundamental errors in logic, it’s hardly surprising that a good share of humanity, even those who are well educated and, presumably, less-than-gullible, could make similar errors.  Much of the public support for doing “something” about global warming comes, perhaps, from this segment of society.

Despite faulty reasoning, Sir David, however, has it right that we should get on with the business of innovation and wealth creation. This is the right solution but for reasons beyond those articulated by him. Not only will this help us cope with any challenges posed by global warming but, more generally, with climate change, regardless of which direction the change is in. More importantly, it will help us address other far more important challenges to environmental and human well-being (see here).

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98 thoughts on “Sir David King: Half Right on the IPCC and Global Warming Policies, Despite Bad Logic

  1. Margaret Thatcher described people like King as wet. They lick their finger and then stick it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. The case against AGW and the claims in those comics from the IPCC is years and years old. Although, it continues on like a big ship, as more bits of it fall off into disgrace every day. It’ll run into a ice berg and sink without trace some day. The last vestige of the greatest scam in the history of mankind. Except of course, for the Gulf Streams going too a fro, paid for by the swindle. Where is the joy? The realization that Man is not the cause after all. They should be elated, because, they are concerned for the planet you see. And for it NOT to be man-made, well. That’s cause for celebration isn’t it. Instead, they are funeral derge. Hhmmmmmm. Rather telling I think.

  2. Thank you for this post.
    Sir David King needs to be de-sirred….and sacked from his position.
    Can you believe such a blithering idiot?
    Yes. I can…as we have a few in this country.
    Of course…I will not name names Hansen Gore Mann.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  3. Excellent summary!
    I believe this is the reason why many “seekers” of climate truth have become “skeptics”. The IPCC and its various cheerleaders have shown a clear bias in one direction, and insulted anyone who questioned any aspect or had any doubts.
    You can read various chapters of the IPCC technical reports and think they have done a good job and communicated the state of knowledge and its limitations and then read the summary for policymakers and wonder whether its authors actually read the technical report.
    See Those Hazy Skeptics at the IPCC
    Unfortunately, most of the cheerleaders are mostly stuck in the same mindset, saying “More of the same, more of the same, don’t stop – this is just an evil plot funded by oil companies”.
    But once you see The Guardian writing a few “skeptical” articles after 1,000 “cheerleader” articles you realize that something major has changed.
    It’s hard to weigh up the science when there is such fervor.
    Find out about CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas?

  4. Don’t be too fooled by David Kings seemingly reasonable approach at the beginning. His true colours show themselves so very fast. If there is room for scepticism (as he implies early on) how can it be ‘absurd to say we don’t understand why’. Clearly scepticism is still absurd.
    This is an opinion piece trying a different tack…. own up to the faults …. but then hammer away at the conclusions none the less. As Frodo (Lord of the Rings (Kings) once said “your words would sound like wisdom, but for the warning in my heart”.
    The tactics are changing – has anyone noticed that there has been an absence of media coverage about how last months satellite data showed it to tbe the hottest January ever (well since records began). Not a clever thing to say as the entire northern hemisphere shivers through its most bitter winter in livign memory. A sure way to completely lose credibility.

  5. What I can’t understand is that so many nobleman as well as others seems to miss that hypothesis and assumptions aren’t facts. Nor do they understand, or at least not show that they understand, that ordinary physic and chemical ‘laws’ as well as at least a minimum of knowledge in subjects such as theories of science need to be known and put in use when an analyse is done.
    What’s even worse is that some seems to believe that they are entitled to fix and make correction in actual readings at same time not realising that all figures for temperatures in for example Arctic and Antarctic before 1947 aren’t real but assumed figures. I can’t help wondering if the education all over the world taken a step back in the last 30 years. And if so: Why?

  6. He is a prevaricating dunce. apparently the product of too many cocktail parties and discussions as to how keeping the inventive peasants in their places somehow helps him keep his status.

  7. And Global Warming causes the greatest snowfall since the 1870’s (potentially) round #2 about to hit the East Coast.
    Guvmint shut down, no sense in debating the blessings of Cap & Trade when there’s snow outside soon to be up to your eyeballs.

  8. I’m having trouble deciphering one passage (in what is otherwise yet another great post):
    ‘“We know that we need to decarbonise our economy, so let’s do it.” But what is the basis for this claim? … it also assumes that the impacts will be, on the whole, negative, and that adaptation will be less costly than mitigation.’
    It would make sense to me if the last part said “mitigation will be less costly than adaptation” (in other words, exactly backwards from what’s written). Otherwise, I’m confused.

  9. The blizzard is the threat. million dead cattle in Asia. Many herdesmen are failing. All wrong forecasts. He is at least 50% dishonest.

  10. Got a two fer one in there: “The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels, seeks to use any challenge to undermine the entire body of science. ”
    It’s the fault of Americans and of big oil. Banal.

  11. “Faced with the social need to tell the world what the science says, the IPCC was set up as a means of seeking consensus. My concern has always been that it runs against the normal spirit of science.”
    So. How long ago did Sir David discover his concern that has “always been.”
    That is perhaps a little unfair. He had a great career in chemistry. And no man could know all that was going on at IPCC, CRU, etc.
    Sir David remains absolutely certain about CO2 and AGW. At the same time he says:
    “…. Climate scientists have been forced into this corner by a disastrous combination of cynical lobbying and a misguided desire for certainty.”
    Obviously his own certainty is not the misguided kind.
    Yes, sinister, vested economic interests rule the Earth with Cynical Lobbying Ray Guns. They made the scientists do it.

  12. I don’t believe David King has changed his ways, he’s just repositioning to look more reasonable in the light of the “overwhelming evidence” of scientific chicanery by both the IPCC and the core of senior scientists that constitute WG1. For two months he bleated on about the “stolen emails” not very open-minded for a scientist, but also clearly showing a biassed assumption. By a series of logical steps, like there being a huge heterogeneous set of dates on the emails, suggesting a trawl of them that must have taken months to get shot of the mundane day to day emails. Like them being held in a folder called FOIA none of this suggests at first blush that they were stolen, but King ranted it on every interview.
    No, he’s just running for cover, Monbiot appears to be the most intelligent of the warmists (which should give us all pause for thought, or he may be just over endowed with low cunning), because he cut and run as soon as he saw the emails, no “stolen” claims, no “out of context” claims. Monbiot realised that these emails wouldn’t stand up to careful examination by an unbiassed observer and put his hands up to the wrong doing. (BTW I doubt that the Muir Russell enquiry will come down hard on the CRU, he’s a Sir Humphrey and very distinguished one at that, so he’s not going to rock the boat, we may be pleasantly surprised, but it isn’t unknown for British public servants to come to the opposite conclusions to where the evidence points to get the establishment off the hook).

  13. hmmm…if this statement is true: “The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels, seeks to use any challenge to undermine the entire body of science. ”
    …then why are the fossil fuel industries pouring $billions into alternative energy research? Exxon-Mobil, BP, etc. are pumping hard cash into cellulosic ethanol, algae biodiesel and other alternative fuel sources.
    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2009/db20090715_064110.htm

  14. So his argument is true science is sceptical and must survive an ordeal of fire. But the mainstream conclusions of climate science have failed to survive this ordeal and therefore thethe IPCC was force to be non scientific.
    He is a great comedian^^

  15. Decarbonize our economies??
    Oh, I get it. It all goes back to Man’s first discovery: Fire.
    How shocking. Worse than anyone could possibly imagine, Anthropogenic Warming has been going on for at least 10,000 years. Maybe even as far back as the Younger Dryas.
    Agriculture, another carbonized economy.
    Herding (Husbandry), the 3rd carbonization.
    We ended the Ice Age, and now it’s our turn to go.
    There must have been others, in the previous Ice Ages.
    The Planet of the Apes.

  16. Bret (21:41:32) :
    Bret, you are correct. There is a mistake in that sentence. It ought to say: “it also assumes that the impacts will be, on the whole, negative, and that adaptation will be MORE costly than mitigation.”
    I’ll ask the MODERATOR if that can be fixed with a cross-out of “less” and “more” inserted in its place.

  17. How could we have gotten to a point where scientists could be so bold as to try and pull such a huge fraud on the entire world? It all boils down to one fateful day when Mann and Jones met to decide how gullible we really are .
    MANN: I have a guy in space sciences that says he can make Pluto disappear.
    JONES: Not “Little Ice Age” or “Medieval Warm Period” disappear, because I don`t think Briffa could stand that kind of scrutiny again.
    MANN: Relax, more like it`s still there but it`s not classed as a planet, disappear.
    JONES: But the entire population has been brought up believing it is a planet. Christ, Disney named one of their most loved characters after it. Can`t we just have Al Gore go on a talk show and say the earths core is several million degrees?
    MANN: If we can pull this off, then we will know they are ready to let the IPCC and U.N. find a way to tax the living crap out of them, and have them asking for more.
    JONES: Well it`s better than Santer`s idea.
    MANN: What`s that.
    JONES: He had a dream he was Brad Pitt and started a “Skeptics Fight Club”
    MANN: Sounds messy and drawn out, so Pluto it is then.
    And as they say “The rest is history”.

  18. Mr. Goklany, thank you for this well written article. I think you should submit it to the Telegraph (following a small rewrite/adaptation of course). Mr. King’s oped should not go without comment. You have the necessary credentials, so there is a chance of it being admitted.
    Again, thank you for your contributions to this blog and us – the readers.

  19. Where did all these people go to school? Sorbonne?
    I believe thats where Pol Pot went.
    He then returned to Cambodia and tried out their theories.
    It looks to me these people are Pol Potters.

  20. Sir David King:
    “Moreover, this leads to the danger that people will go beyond the science that is truly reliable, and pick up almost anything that seems to support the argument ”
    Wait wait. WHAT is truly reliable here? The computer models? The climate sensitivity assumptions? The GISTEMP product? No all of that is not reliable. Nothing is reliable. They didn’t come to the glacier claim saying, uh, we need to spice it up even though that claim is flaky. ALL of it is flaky. They never even saw the difference. They’re making all of it up as they go. ALL of it. Sir David King wants to implant the believe in the reader that besides that glacier thing there is a robust core of climate science. That just ain’t so and it’s easy to see.
    As reliable i see the Keeling curve and slightly less so the UAH temperature product (because they have to work with certain assumptions to do their computer tomography of the atmosphere’s layers) and from there it goes downhill quickly with the reliability.

  21. Sir David King’s appearance on BBC Newsnight in December seemed to me to be little more than a series of assertions which the evidence does not support, and he continues with the same sort of logic here. If he presents sound arguments, backed up by incontrovertible evidence, then he will be believed, but so far what he has said leaves me firmly of the view that AGW is not proven.

  22. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
    This is what many otherwise good men and women who call themselves scientists have done for the past 20 plus years.
    Sir David King, however was not one of them. He chose sides and I do not believe he has removed the intellectual blinders that allowed the AGW ideology to (nearly?) triumph. I suspect rather that he only seeks to minimize the damage to his cause from the many “gates” that have opened in the last three months.

  23. Excellent, level-headed article. Excellent. I will share this with some of my warmist friends. Maybe they will see the light.
    Many thanks. Did I mention how excellent I thought it was?

  24. Sir David King is a spokesperson for the UK government. Why are they so keen on decarbonizing our economy? Years ago, the UK made 10% of their GDP with North Sea Oil. This is dropping fast now. At the same time somebody told them that they have a lot of wind there.
    Don’t trust the UK government. They’d do everything to get that kind of revenue again. They’re more desperate than any lobbyist for Big Oil could ever be. When Pachauri is not playing cricket in India or hanging out on some UN junket he’s in London. Ever wondered why?

  25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_King_(scientist)#Academic_career
    “He was born in South Africa in 1939, and after an early career at the University of Witwatersrand, Imperial College and the University of East Anglia, King became the Brunner Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Liverpool in 1974. In 1988 he was appointed 1920 Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and subsequently became Master of Downing College (1995 – 2000) and Head of the University Chemistry Department (1993 – 2000). During this time, King, together with Gabor Somorjai and Gerhard Ertl, shaped the discipline of surface science and helped to explain the underlying principles of heterogeneous catalysis. Controversially, the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Ertl alone [3].
    King has published over 500 papers on his research in chemical physics and on science and policy, and has received numerous prizes, Fellowships and Honorary Degrees. King was knighted in 2003 and in 2009 made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur. He continues as Director of Research in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University.”
    I know, I know – I broke my own rules never to cite Wikiliar…..but it was quick and dirty.

  26. Didn’t Sir David King participate in the botched BBC greenhouse-in-a-bottle experiment where he casually remarked that an elite government agency was behind the CRU email “hack”? Did he not allege that this same government agency was also responsible for hacking into the mobile phone conversations of prominent climate scientists?
    This man is a proven idiot and should not be taken seriously under any circumstances.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/24/bbc-botches-grade-school-co2-science-experiment-on-live-tv-with-indepedent-lab-results-to-prove-it/

  27. Speaking as someone educated in Maths at the windy and cold cloisters of Cambridge University, some 30 years ago, I was long ago educated in the concept of the word “axiomatic”
    This in English means “self-evident” or “obvious”, but in Mathematical terms means an assertion that is assumed to be true upon which we can base all our other assumptions or theorems.
    It seems to me that we need to determine what are the axioms of climate science From my relatively short time delving into this topic with all its emotional and political baggage, we desperately need to return to first principles and determine “what are the axioms of climate science?” (Specifically with respect to climate change or global warming)
    I would like to know, specifically with respect to Sir David King’s assertion that we need to decarbonize our economy, what axioms and inferences he is using to make this assertion.
    Is it axiomatic that the earth is currently warming?
    Is it axiomatic that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?
    Is it axiomatic that mankind is emitting CO2?
    These are some of my questions and I have learnt to completely throw out all my pre-conceived ideas and start from scratch.
    Any ideas?

  28. Another flaw in SDK’s argument.
    “However, it’s not all the IPCC’s fault. Climate scientists have been forced into this corner by a disastrous combination of cynical lobbying and a misguided desire for certainty. The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels, seeks to use any challenge to undermine the entire body of science.”
    If he cares to look at TV adverts or propaganda published as editorial in once newspapers of record such as the Telegraph or the behaviour of GE and fossil fuel companies, he will see that they have welcomed warmist alarmism since it gives them a tax payer funded stream of highly profitable revenue.
    Where is his evidence for the Exxon funding of WUWT or CA? At best the sceptics have received funding in millions of dollars, probably less than $10 mn. Set this against the covert funding by the UK government of carbon folly and the billions spent of GCMs.
    It might be worth one of the dedicated readers of this site trying to put a number on the total fossil fuel funding of the sceptics. A job for Mr Goklany?
    Cheers
    Paul

  29. Sir David’s silly public assertion that Climategate had to be the work of sophisticated foreign spies showed that outside of his specialist field his opinions are both gratuitous and worthless.
    LIttle wonder his logic is so lacking here too.

  30. He was so appalled at the claims about the Himalayan glaciers melting in twenty years time, that he kept his mouth shut?
    It’s called post rationalisation. Although to be fair to him he is consistent,, he was a joke when he was the UK governments chief scientific adviser and he is still a joke now, albeit as a D list minor celebrity.
    To end on a positive note, a very thoughtful and intelligent post.

  31. Watching climate criminals come to grips with dissolution of their charade(and the corresponding culpability of their actions creating it)…… is like watching the murder suspect on “48 hrs”.
    In the beginning of the interrogation, he swears he was nowhere near the scene, and doesn’t know anyone involved. After a few hours, he knows the victim, but hasn’t seen him all week. Another hour, and he was there, but just driving the car. By 2 am, he’s describing the dope deal gone bad, and admits he was angry with the victim…. and he needs a cigarette. 4 am, and he’s sobbing and saying he doesn’t remember firing the gun…. Confessions come hard, in increments.

  32. Speaking of the botched BBC experiment, there is something about it that has bothered me ever since I first watched it. Okay there are many things about that experiment that bothered me but one thing in particular is worth analyzing because no one has ever mentioned it (as far as I know).
    Watch the video again and you will notice that the lamp shining on the enhanced CO2 bottle is marked with a small piece of black tape (on the lower part of the lamp stem). This is important because the lamps should be identical in every way for such an experiment to be credible and a marker on one lamp might be interpreted to mean that something is different about that lamp. For example, maybe the lamp bulb has a slightly higher wattage than the other lamp bulb, thus influencing the outcome.
    Surely that small piece of tape was an innocent oversight and I’m simply over-analyzing the situation. Maybe, maybe not. It’s interesting to note that Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock had previously performed the exact same experiment in a different BBC video:

    Notice that the location of the enhanced CO2 bottle is different: it’s on the right-hand side instead of being on the left-hand side. Please also note the location of the lamp with the black tape. So, in light of the above, how should we interpret these observations?

  33. I like your article, Goklany, an excellent, fair differentiation.
    King seems to be a brilliant specialist scientist who understands Scientific Method – but he should have recognized his inadequately evidenced assertions. I suspect that the current main science bodies are stuffed with people like him near the top, who have been taken in by IPCC pronouncements as “science” and who have little or no concept of scientific fraud in high places, or of climbing down, admitting to having been duped when they should have checked better, or saying sorry.
    I hope there are a few high-up scientists still in the establishment, who have been duped but are now shaking in their boots and looking again; or who had been intimidated into silence but actually care about truth enough to now be willing to speak out if they can have the final say on what goes out.

  34. Andy Scrase (23:41:36) :
    “I would like to know, specifically with respect to Sir David King’s assertion that we need to decarbonize our economy, what axioms and inferences he is using to make this assertion.”
    He’d have started with
    The laws of Thermodynamics
    Chaos theory
    Physical Hydrology
    Maxwell’s equations
    Newtonian mechanics (but as climate is chaotic he’d need relativity to avoid building in micro differences to his initial conditions)
    Fluid mechanics
    Atmospheric Chemistry
    Quantum theory
    Statistical mechanics
    Probability Theory
    and the physics of plastic bottles
    He’d then use post normal inductive and deductive logic to synthesize the AGW hypothesis and then test its validity in series of focus groups and audiences in a friend’s kitchen.
    Oh and excellent article Indur Goklany

  35. Let’s see pharma. manufacturers use the same logic. This pill is good for you because it will improve your cholesterol levels so everyone should take it, but many people just won’t bother to take it, even though it is good for them, so let’s say there’s a life threatening virus that is going to kill billions and this pill is the only way to prevent you getting this virus.
    Well the poor pharma. manufacturers and scientists were forced to lie because people are too stupid to do what’s good for them. You know what that is? Supreme arrogance. How would these scientists feel if some medical authority decided they were mentally I’ll and they should be institutionalised for their own good? It is the same loss of personal autonomy. Let’s just manipulate the people with lies.
    A while ago a greenie said to me, “what’s wrong with lying to people if it is for their own good?”
    See, what Sir David King has said is not news. Greens decided we all needed to be lied to for our own good. Of course peope who believe themselves to be in the right don’t stop to question themselves. They lack, what’s the word… “skepticism” about themselves.
    The most precious thing we have is reason and self inquiry. Losing that would be worse than any killer climate change.

  36. Andy Scrase (23:41:36) : Speaking as someone educated in Maths at the windy and cold cloisters of Cambridge University, some 30 years ago, I was long ago educated in the concept of the word “axiomatic”. This in English means “self-evident” or “obvious”, but in Mathematical terms means an assertion that is assumed to be true upon which we can base all our other assumptions or theorems… I would like to know… what axioms and inferences he is using to make this assertion.
    Is it axiomatic that the earth is currently warming?
    Is it axiomatic that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?
    Is it axiomatic that mankind is emitting CO2?

    Andy, have a look at my “Primer” by clicking my name. Then go here to see IMHO a better statement of your “axiomatic” questions… currently flying under the radar, needs good input…

  37. Instead of doing the interview with Roger Harribin of the BBC, send this article to him, and dare him to print it on the BBC website, with a link to the index page.
    Then you’ll know if he can be trusted to tell both sides without edited spin.
    Keep warm over there, stay in, have a single malt by the fireside, and don’t drive!

  38. I raised the problematic of what actual empirical evidence existed for the UK Government’s position on climate change a few years ago and the rely I received from Dave King (as he signed the letter) was basically none whatsoever. The UK climate policies is based on faith in the models at Hadley. Scary stuff.

  39. Sir David King moaned that “The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels…”
    Would those be the same fossil fuel interests that have merrily bought into AGW because of the carbon capture and storage bonanza they will reap if the politicians keep their end of the bargain, AND the money to be made trading emissions credits, AND the money to be made by artificially increasing the prices of fossil fuels?
    David thinks they are funding a pernicious campaign against the IPCC. That is illogical. Why would they, when there is far more money to be made backing AGW to the hilt?

  40. Thank you for recognising that someone who holds a degree in a particular field, and is “working” in that field, is not ipso facto “a scientist”.
    A scientist is someone who follows the disciplines of science. One of these is the effort to make your work reproducible, as much as is possible.
    Therefore, people who falsify data, hide data, delete data, refuse to share data, refuse to share their methods, refuse to expose their workings to any skeptical examination whatsoever, but simply announce their results and say “There, the science is settled. I’m a scientist and I say so” – these people are NOT scientists.
    No matter what their credentials, no matter what their reputations, no matter what their conclusions, no matter what their funding, no matter what their personal opinions.

  41. Apologies for the second post in quick succession,
    The line many warmists take is that there is a well funded fossil fuel interest keen and trying to undermine the green agenda. We know that isn’t the case but if you start from that wrong assumption you can perhaps explain why Governments are spending vast sums of taxpayer money that Jo Nova put at $79billion over the last 20 years in the US alone.
    A lot of modern politics is about misdirection and fighting phantoms. Eco-lobbyists have the ear of politicians because they sell a story of vast armies of well funded contrarians in the pay of fossil fuel interests hellbent on destroying the world, and they make the politicians believe that only they have the authority to prevent it. The well funded contrarian army doesn’t actually exist but to maintain the massive taxpayer spending and momentum the spectre must be wheeled out now and again.

  42. The Brits’ best quality is their appetite and aptitude for making fun of one another. But they’ve got it easy, with such fantastic fatheads as this guy. He should be in the next “Carry On” film.

  43. He appears to have revised the assertion by Sir david king that by 2100 “Antarctica will be the only habitable continent” out of existence.
    Sinking ship; rat.

  44. Gareth.
    The leaders in the political parties are bought, through family members and future promises.
    Otherwise correct.

  45. Just a note on the phrase “NGO” which is most often misused : a number of those organisations in fact receive funding from states or, if you prefer, governments. Calling those NGOs is therefore the opposite of the truth. I prefer NNGOs (not non governmental organisations). What matters is that they are part and parcel of the political industry that lives off tax money, along with lobbyists of the rent seeking kind, and the whole apparatus of the state.

  46. Daniel H (23:40:17) :
    Ha! Leigh beat me to it 🙂
    Snap! Daniel. Although Anthony should probably take credit for the article.

  47. The connection to the original article is giving a 404 error code so I have posted a link here.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7170299/Sir-David-King-IPCC-runs-against-the-spirit-of-science.html
    The comments in the Telegraph including mine follow much the same scathing line as here, but I bet he has not read any of them.
    There seems to be a pattern emerging which denotes that this is government inspired. Following Millibands statement on the issue, the present government chief scientist Beddington, the previous incumbent King and the chief scientist at Defra, Bob Watson have all made been making essentially the same two comments. I hate to give them their titles as they are not worthy of them.
    1. Glaciergate was just one small mistake in a report of 3000 pages. In fact Watson goes one better in IPCCesque style and now says that AR4 is a 6000 page document. Do you get the impression these people just don’t know how to tell the truth any longer.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/8504300.stm
    2. This does not affect the science, which remains extremely “robust”.
    They are never challenged on these statements, though Andrew Neil does make an effort. People would not appear on his show if he embarrassed them too much though.

  48. There’s a section of the British upper crust that might be named “aged scientific virgins”. Tops at pure science, but dismal at applied, i.e. the real world where people tell fibs.
    Re Big Oil, how many times do I have to repeat CRU email # 973374325.txt
    From: “Simon J Shackley”
    Organization: umist
    To: m.hulme@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 14:44:09 GMT
    Subject: BP funding
    Reply-to: Simon.Shackley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    dear TC colleagues
    looks like BP have their cheque books out! How can TC benefit from
    this largesse? I wonder who has received this money within Cambridge
    University?
    Cheers, Simon
    17) BP, FORD GIVE $20 MILLION FOR PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
    EMISSIONS
    STUDY
    Auto.com/Bloomberg News
    October 26, 2000
    Internet: [1]http://www.auto.com/industry/iwirc26_20001026.htm
    LONDON — BP Amoco Plc, the world’s No. 3 publicly traded oil
    company, and Ford Motor Co. said they will give Princeton
    University $20 million over 10 years to study ways to reduce
    carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. BP said it will give
    $15 million. Ford, the world’s second-biggest automaker, is
    donating $5 million. The gift is part of a partnership between the
    companies aimed at addressing concerns about climate change.
    Carbon dioxide is the most common of the greenhouse gases believed
    to contribute to global warming.
    London-based BP said it plans to give $85 million in the next
    decade to universities in the U.S. and U.K. to study environmental
    and energy issues. In the past two years, the company has pledged
    $40 million to Cambridge University, $20 million to the University
    of California at Berkeley and $10 million to the University of
    Colorado at Boulder.
    It’s the AW crowd that are in the pay of Big Oil, don’t you see?

  49. The Club of Rome, ub it’s famous manifesto, “The First Global Revolution” claimed this:
    “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    – Club of Rome
    (Ref http://green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html)
    I don’t know if Sir David is a member, but he sure is talking the Party Line

  50. I take issue with your characterization of the “Schneider Trap.” A quick Google search turns up the original quote from Schneider and it has a completely different flavor. Essentially, he is agreeing with you. He did not “assume that one can be a scientist and advocate simultaneously..”

  51. Very well written article.
    It helps highlight the simple fact that the absolute bottom line of climate warming is that it is a scare industry, employing tens of thousands of well paid individuals in government and quasi-government organisations.
    What the heck are these people going to do when politicians finally realise that the majority of their claims/interpretations are bogus and cut off funding?
    Do not expect people like King, Pachauri, Jones et alia to commit financial hari kari by admitting the truth, thereby bringing their comfortable life styles to an abrupt end.

  52. “We have robust data on rising sea levels, the acidification of our oceans, and the spectacular multidimensional details of how climate has changed in the past.”
    There is that word “robust” again. I think from now on whenever I see or read that word I will be robustly skeptical.

  53. If you read carefully the multitude of op-eds coming out this week, you will detect two things:
    1. They continue the old line of man-made ‘climate change’.
    2. They introduce all the apparently rigorous arguments of science ‘not being certain’ etc etc.
    Whilst their arguments are no longer zealotry, their policy position has not changed.
    Prepare for Mexico starting today, I say.
    And start new businesses in:
    1. Construction materials which maximise warmth in winter and minimise heat in summer.
    2. Construction design to be frugal, human-friendly, energy-efficient and built to last.
    3. Technologies which generate efficient energy.
    4. Recycling technology.
    5. Naturally occurring crop strains which are adapted to many different climate scenarios.
    6. Easily assembling greenhouses to allow farmers and gardeners to protect crops at times of unusual climate extremes.
    Etc etc etc.

  54. “However, it’s not all the IPCC’s fault. Climate scientists have been forced into this corner by a disastrous combination of cynical lobbying and a misguided desire for certainty. The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels, seeks to use any challenge to undermine the entire body of science. The drive for consensus has come to some extent because the scientific community (me included) has become frustrated with this willful misuse of the scientific process.”

    That is about the most illogical thing I have ever heard. Basically, his logic is this. Big Oil is forcing scientists to deny AGW. For that reason, scientists have no choice but to accept AGW. Furthermore, this reason also forces scientists to proclaim doom and gloom.
    His statement would require every scientists to be spiteful jerks. “You want me to deny AGW? Oh yeah, well, take this! I’m going to support AGW anyway.” Just because you are an idiot does not mean scientists are. Second, his reasoning also requires you to ignore the fact that Big Environment has more money than Big Oil and Big Environment has damaged the scientific process more than Big Oil could ever hope to have done. Third, what proof does he have that Big Oil is trying to silence debate? That is the big lie Big Environment uses to distract people. The Big Oil attack is nothing but a red herring and the man is repeating it.
    Sir David King is a typical politician. He tries to sound logical when, in fact, his or her reasoning is similar to what a 4 year old would say. He blames somebody else while requiring you to ignore his backers are just as evil or more so. He doesn’t back down unless it would cause him to lose power. What a world we live in.

  55. “The Hockey Stick Illusion” details how the climate advocates were agressively corrupting science long before the skeptics forced them to be bad. Climate Audit was created as a result of their advocacy.

  56. To Peter Miller:
    Pls follow the Club of Rome reference two posts before. You know not what of you speak. These guys CANNOT be defeated. They cannot lose their wealth to the world, they OWN most of the wealth of the world.
    You will note, if you go to the Wikipedia reference for the Club of Rome that the original founders dropped out when the excellent aims of this organization were subverted by elitists who want the world to be controlled by them, for their benefit and preservation.

  57. Tom Karl, an advocate disguised as a scientist, has been appointed head of Obama’s new climate organization. This was going to be the administration driven by science, not advocacy.

  58. I am going to do some shouting here as I think all the British readers should know!
    (this is the British gov. environmental (AGW) expenditure )
    2008-9 TOTAL EXPENDITURE BY NERC. POUNDS STERLING 433,657,000
    http:www.nerc.ac.uk/publications/annualreport/2009/annualreport.pdf

  59. “On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place”
    This is, precisely, the problem. When, after adopting an ideology which by the way pays quite well their daily living, they are prone to favour any wishes of their mentors or patrons. This is quite improbable in other areas of real science where, for example, it is really dangerous and punishable to alter, for example, lab analysis reports. Trouble is that in this undefined area of the so called “climate science” almost everything is possible, like in the solar astrophysics area where all kind of solar activity”predictions” are permited as long as they satisfy “consensus”, nany theories or political/ideological preconceptions.
    If an engineer changes his/her lab tests people will eventually die and his/her acts can be prosecutable as wrong punishable actions. In the field of climate to lie ,or change, adjust, massage data, as far as it can bring also undesirable or even deadly consequences, should be also prosecutable, and I think it is and it should be.

  60. I know that I have posted this twice before and it did not elicit any comments, but here goes again (if the Mod allows it).
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7176262/Climate-makes-money-move-in-mysterious-ways.html
    “Contemplating the impenetrable maze of payments made by various ministries to the UN, the EU, banks, research institutes, teams of academics, NGOs, environmental and industrial lobby groups and “charitable foundations” – often through chains of “funding vehicles” which may give only the most nebulous idea of their purpose – we can get little idea what is the total amount of taxpayers’ money flooding out from all our different branches of officialdom.”
    This Article by Christopher shows that the British Government are complicit in the IPCC Scam, they knew that the Himalayan glacier statement was wrong back in 2004.

  61. Andy Scrase (23:41:36) : Any Ideas?
    Yes, I think you are right to attempt to “start from the very beginning” again; I feel we are swimming around in a soup, seeing battles won, but not setting the agenda as well as we might: being reactive, not proactive.
    Many people (mostly non-scientists) do not understand the scientific process well and I think your ideas are a good start to describing that process, tailored to our situation. I thought that John Costella explained well what has happened:
    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/cg.pdf
    We now need to move on, specifically from where we are now, using our own framework and use the abundant work displayed on this and similar sites, and I think you are on the right track. I think it needs to be “one side of A4” at most.
    For several years we have been picking up the crumbs from under the table of well funded CAGW groups and showing that mistakes have been made. This is like trying to walk by moving only one foot. Good beginning, but never getting to the destination.
    Let’s face it: we are “data poor”. We need to have the RAW DATA to make progress. We know the history, but times are a’changin’.
    We want RAW data, so we can play with it, have some fun, and come up with dozens of theories! This is what scientific discovery is about – well it was in the previous two or three centuries. (I can remember my undergraduate days, in the last century, when “Physics was Fun”)
    For one bit of the jigsaw then, using the term “data poor”, or something like it, would help us focus on what we need now and also explain to the public where we are in the process.
    It also invites the questions: What data? How do we get it? How do we validate it? When can I start formulating policy??? Much more positive than: climate sceptic !
    There are already public facing groups, such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation http://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are.html that could do with independent, knowledgeable people taking part in these sorts of discussions, just as this and similar sites have done for scientists and other like minded people, but we need to explain to them where we are, better than I did at the beginning.
    We could also send it to the BBC in response to this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/03/bbc-asks-wuwt-for-help
    PS: Everyone, please comment and even suggest different strategies because I feel that I am only scratching the surface of this; and there may be a better term than “data poor”!
    PPS: … and to those fighting those battles, thanks!

  62. >> Tom in Florida (05:16:41) :
    “We have robust data on rising sea levels, the acidification of our oceans, and the spectacular multidimensional details of how climate has changed in the past.”
    There is that word “robust” again. I think from now on whenever I see or read that word I will be robustly skeptical. <<
    That statement is 100% true. You just have to understand that in the climate science dictionary 'robust' is defined as a synonym for 'bull****'.

  63. Lucy Skywalker (01:04:56)
    “axiomatic” and suchlike
    In the mid-nineteenth century the study of logic was a required component of degree courses at Oxford and Cambridge. Unfortunately this appears not to have been the case at South African universities in the mid-twentieth century, otherwise we might have been spared the illogical absurdities of Sir David’s pronouncements.

  64. Tom in Florida (05:16:41) :
    “There is that word “robust” again. I think from now on whenever I see or read that word I will be robustly skeptical.”

    The has been used by AGW adherents to replace the term “weak” in so many instances that I too now see it as a warning to look under under the hood of any claim that relies upon it to make a point.
    I cringe when it used by politicians who very likely have never looked into its scientific relevance, but are only repeating what their pet activists have told them.

  65. Another great post by Mr. Goklany. Thank you, sir. There are a few who I think are feigning “neutrality” to further their careers, as they have recognized the vessel is descending below sea level. I am making a prediction that Andrew Weaver is going for Pachauri’s job. His claim of ” the IPCC is engaged in advocacy” will be used to place himself as the “savior” of the IPCC. All under the watchful guidance of the “king maker”, Maurice Strong. Once in place, he will be perceived as “neutral” , and continue the advocacy. Time will tell if I am correct.

  66. Tom in Florida (05:16:41) :
    There is that word “robust” again. I think from now on whenever I see or read that word I will be robustly skeptical.

    Robust = Ribald

  67. He’s a British politico. I didn’t expect him to do anything less than try to rewrite reality. Hang them. Hang every bleeding last one of them.

  68. John Lish (01:26:53) :
    I raised the problematic of what actual empirical evidence existed for the UK Government’s position on climate change a few years ago and the rely I received from Dave King (as he signed the letter) was basically none whatsoever. The UK climate policies is based on faith in the models at Hadley. Scary stuff.

    and:
    Fredrick Lightfoot (05:26:18) :
    I am going to do some shouting here as I think all the British readers should know!
    (this is the British gov. environmental (AGW) expenditure )
    2008-9 TOTAL EXPENDITURE BY NERC. POUNDS STERLING 433,657,000
    http:www.nerc.ac.uk/publications/annualreport/2009/annualreport.pdf

    Scary? It’s truly terrifying. After at least 10 years of spending roughly £400 million pounds per annum on AGW research, the only evidence the UK government has for the slight warming of the 80s and 90s being man-made is a few dodgy computer models, a la Harry and his God squad pals? Meanwhile we have thousands of old people dying of hypothermia each winter, and thousands more having to burning second-hand books to keep warm. A national disgrace. I have never been one for sedition but I think it is well overdue in the UK. Oops, shouldn’t have written that, no doubt I can now expect a visit from the National Domestic Extremist Team.

  69. Engiiner (04:34:35) :
    The Club of Rome, in it’s famous manifesto, “The First Global Revolution” claimed this:
    “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    ————-
    Reply:
    That’s like saying “The common enemy of climate is weather.”
    Or are they into genocide?

  70. This is a first rate summary and analysis. David King is a charlatan. This has been obvious for a long time. The question is why so many fell for his mendacities and the advocacy/’science’ of the IPCC. Thanks for a brilliant and insightful piece. Innovation, wealth creation and celebration – too right. Perhaps we can now focus on doing someting real and urgent about the environment like preserving rain forest and species, woodlands, mountains, lakes, and rivers and get away from this big government carbon taxing scam.

  71. Andrew P (07:41:24) :
    If only the British Public could be made aware of this kind of Information we might see some real pressure put on the Parties at the next General Election.

  72. I agree, it was a number of prominent scientists who chose to paint themselves into a corner by playing a high stakes game of advocacy dressed up as science. They had all the cards for a while, but this game demanded that they have control over all information.
    Unfortunately, in this day and age, control of information is (thankfully!) impossible, and the house of cards began to collapse when information leaks began to appear, and finally the dam burst.
    Exactly why people such as King continue to hang on to the AGW “theory”, and apologize for very serious breaches of scientific conduct is perplexing. I think it’s just another example of the human species’ tendency to think irrationally.

  73. Bravo Dr. Goklany.
    This is the same Dr. King:
    “Andrei Illarionov, former chief science adviser to President Putin:
    … in respect to the presentation made by representatives of the so-called official team of the British government and the official British climate science, or at least how they introduced themselves at the seminar. I personally was surprised by the exceptionally poor content of the papers presented…
    Simultaneously, they revealed an absolute—and I stress, absolute inability to answer questions concerning the alleged professional activities of the authors of these papers. Not only the ten questions that were published nine months ago, but not a single question asked during this two-day seminar by participants in the seminar, both Russian and foreign, were answered.
    When it became clear that they could not provide a substantive answer to a question, three devices were used… The British participants insisted on introducing censorship during the holding of this seminar. The chief science adviser to the British government, Mr. King, demanded in the form of an ultimatum at the beginning of yesterday that the program of the seminar be changed and he presented an ultimatum demanding that about two-third of the participants not be given the floor.The participants in the seminar who had been invited by the Russian Academy of Sciences, they have been invited by the president of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Sergeyevich Osipov. Mr. King spoke about “undesirable” scientists and undesirable participants in the seminar. He declared that if the old program is preserved, he would not take part in the seminar and walk out taking along with him all the other British participants.
    He has prepared his own program which he proposed, it is available here and my colleagues can simply distribute Mr. King’s hand-written program to change the program prepared by the Russian Academy of Sciences and sent out in advance to all the participants in the seminar.
    A comparison of the real program prepared by the Academy of Science and the program proposed as an ultimatum by Mr. King will give us an idea of what scientists, from the viewpoint of the chief scientific adviser to the British government, are undesirable. In the course of negotiations on this issue Mr. King said that he had contacted the British Foreign Secretary Mr. Straw who was in Moscow at the time and with the office of the British Prime Minister, Blair, so that the corresponding executives in Britain should contact the corresponding officials in Russia to bring pressure on the Russian Academy of Sciences and the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences to change the seminar’s program.When the attempt to introduce censorship at the Russian Academy of Sciences failed, other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar. At least four times during the course of the seminar ugly scenes were staged that prevented the seminar from proceeding normally. As a result we lost at least four hours of working time in order to try to solve these problems.
    During these events Mr. King cited his conversations with the office of the British Prime Minister and had got clearance for such actions.
    And thirdly, when the more or less normal work of the seminar was restored and when the opportunity for discussion presented itself, when questions on professional topics were asked, and being unable to answer these questions, Mr. King and other members of the delegation, turned to flight, as happened this morning when Mr. King, in an unprecedented incident, cut short his answer to a question in mid sentence realizing that he was unable to answer it and left the seminar room. It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened, but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government and the reputation of the title “Sir” has sustained heavy damage.”
    It’s the mad hatter’s tea party

    Didn’t seem too good at convincing the Russian Academy, it seems. And to just flounce out, like a spoilt child, or a politician (mostly the same thing).
    Thus, if anyone forced or badgered the IPCC into dropping caveats, insisting that the science was more certain than warranted, and embellishing climate change impacts and their severity, it was the greens, their groupies and their political allies. It was their pressure that led some IPCC scientists to become complicit in the war against the scientific method…
    Absolutely correct. And our British Government are nothing but organised criminals.
    As for decarbonising our economy – no carbon means no life. If these idiots despise life so much, why don’t they set an example to the rest of us?

  74. Did anyone see the NY Times article today raising the issue of issues with IPCC AR4. While it raises questions, it very notable fails to mention Robert Watson’s recent questions which is very hard to understand. Then goes on to say…. “The general consensus among mainstream scientists is that the errors are in any case minor and do not undermine the report’s conclusions.”
    I would love to know how the author of the article was able to establish what the “General Consensus of mainstream scientist is at this point in time…. shocking whitewash…

  75. Excellent piece.
    The use of gray propaganda only has short term value.
    There is a saying in military circles.
    A lie will travel around the world twice before the truth gets it shoes on.
    Anyone who engages in gray propaganda risks ultimately discrediting themselves and their institutions.
    Hence, the US military currently polls as one of the most trustworthy institutions in American, and the US congress polls as the least trustworthy institution in America.
    The Military for the most part leaves the gray propaganda to the politicians.
    No matter what, in the US, the Liar in Chief gets changed at minimum once every 8 years, more frequently depending on how many lies the Liar in Chief gets caught in.
    The military learned form the mistakes of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It took them a full 20 years to regain credibility.
    Hansen et al were quite effective in the CFC debate. The technological solutions were readily available and the half-truths only needed to survive a fairly short shelf life.
    In the CO2 debate, even if the ‘final decision’ were to be made today…it would take 40 years to roll out the solution. Far beyond the lifespan of half-truths.

  76. The American lobby system, driven by political and economic vested interests in fossil fuels, seeks to use any challenge to undermine the entire body of science.
    I think this is the most glaring absurdity. As usual, the Brits are blaming us! ;~D

  77. DCC (04:45:54) :

    I take issue with your characterization of the “Schneider Trap.” A quick Google search turns up the original quote from Schneider and it has a completely different flavor. Essentially, he is agreeing with you. He did not “assume that one can be a scientist and advocate simultaneously..”

    RESPONSE: The link provided above is from an article Schneider wrote for the APS in 1996 in which he complained that Julian Simon essentially put words in his mouth, and provided the full quote. He wrote:

    … The full quote follows, where I have italicized what portions
    of it Simon quoted and bracketed what I did not say but he attributed
    to me in the APS News article:
    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the
    scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole
    truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all the
    doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we
    are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people
    we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context
    translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially
    disastrous climatic change. To do that we need [Scientists should
    consider stretching the truth] to get some broadbased support, to
    capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting
    loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make
    simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts
    we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves
    in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the
    right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that
    means being both.

    [Emphasis added.]
    The last sentence in the above, which I have emphasized, essentially tells us that he (Schneider) assumes that one can simultaneously be both scientist and advocate, that is, the two are not mutually exclusive at the same time.

  78. Mr Goklany says:
    “it took skepticism to reject the age-old consensus that the earth was flat.”
    Could Mr Goklany provide any evidence of this so-called consensus? Just where and when exactly was this consensus supposed to have existed? I am very sceptical about Mr Goklany’s so-called consensus. This is just one of those claims that has got into some people’s heads so much that they think it must be true.
    He also says:
    “One of the minor revelations in the CRU e-mails — in case one doubted it — is that scientists and science institutions are not disinterested in obtaining funding.”
    OK, it’s only £249,227.50 (how strangely precise is that? Hope that they manage to account for that 50p.) but here’s an example from the UK Economic and Social Research Council:
    Award/Grant Name: Investigating the pollution content of trade flows and the importance of ‘environmental trade balances’ in addressing the problem of climate change
    Award/Grant Holder: Dr Karen Turner
    Start Date: 01/10/2008 End Date: 31/12/2010
    Award/Grant Description
    A crucial issue in addressing the problem of climate change is the impact of trade flows on any one country’s domestic emissions generation (what governments are responsible for reducing under the Kyoto Protocol). Moreover, since human consumption decisions are commonly considered to lie at the heart of climate change problems, attention is increasingly turning to accounting measures such as carbon footprints, which measure emissions produced globally to meet local consumption demand. In response to this, it has become increasingly common to use appropriately augmented input-output accounts (produced as a component of national accounts in most industrialised countries) to measure emissions under different accounting principles and to estimate ‘trade balances’ in emissions in a multi-sector, multi-region context.
    The purpose of this Fellowship is to facilitate the application of such techniques at a sub-national regional level (with applications for the UK and US) and to develop appropriate modelling frameworks to analyse the impacts of changes in policy and other disturbances on pollution trade balances. This will involve application and development of inter-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling techniques and collaboration with a number of data providers and other researchers in the fields of input-output analysis, economic modelling, regional and environmental science.
    Keywords: Input-Output analysis, computable general equilibrium modelling, environmental trade balances
    Award/Grant Amount ESRC Grant Number Institution Discipline Award/Grant Type
    £249,227.50 RES-066-27-0029 University of Strathclyde Economics Programme Fellowship
    As part of this project the University of Strathclyde are inviting 13/14 year old pupils to a “workshop titled ‘Small decisions, global impact: who is responsible for carbon emissions?’. This workshop will be held on Monday
    the 15th March 2010 at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, with the aim of sharing and discussing our research findings on carbon footprints and pollution embodied in trade flows. The research will be discussed in a non-technical manner and through group activities we aim to help students consider key issues of sustainable development. By the end of the morning we hope that the students will have a fresh perspective on climate change policy arguments.
    This workshop is part of an ESRC funded Climate Change Leadership Fellowship project. A basic objective is to help young people understand and take action in the fight against climate change, as well as making them aware of the role social science plays in the development of policies that will shape how we live in the future. Please look at the link given below for more information on our project.”
    http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/esrcinfocentre/viewawardpage.aspx?awardnumber=RES-066-27-0029

  79. From RockyRoad (07:50:10) :
    “Engiiner (04:34:35) :
    The Club of Rome, in it’s famous manifesto, “The First Global Revolution” claimed this:
    “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    ————-
    Reply:
    That’s like saying “The common enemy of climate is weather.””
    Rocky: You miss the point. This is the group that started Al Gore on his anti-CO2 rant, and Yes, they are into genocide. see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwIlJSRQ5ks David Rockefeller supposedly felt this way. Although I think the limit of 500,000,000 humans is a bit extreme
    Or are they into genocide?

  80. I assume the President’s Science Tsar, John Holdren, is the U.S. equivalent to the U.K. Chief Scientist designation…??

  81. Smokey (13:56:01) :
    “Lord Monckton says someone (Pachauri) is going to jail:”
    Wow. Great vid. As always…. Monckton holds his own and more.
    The same can not be said for the crumbling IPCC scam. Its chairman very well might be going to jail.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  82. Alba (11:53:06) :

    Goklany says:
    “it took skepticism to reject the age-old consensus that the earth was flat.”
    Could Mr Goklany provide any evidence of this so-called consensus? Just where and when exactly was this consensus supposed to have existed? I am very sceptical about Mr Goklany’s so-called consensus. This is just one of those claims that has got into some people’s heads so much that they think it must be true.

    RESPONSE: Alba, I compliment you on your skepticism (smile).
    We can deduce what the initial thinking about the shape of the world was. Some highly intelligent people long ago held that the earth was round, but not necessarily spherical. Early depictions of it suggest, “round and flat” (that is, disk-like). [Google “early world maps”. Also, Wikipedia — though not always reliable and sometimes biased — has an interesting article on “Flat Earth” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth.%5D Ancient myths and stories of the universe would be consistent with this notion.
    As far as we know, Aristotle was (among the) first to argue that the earth was spherical – why would he make such arguments if it already were accepted fact? [Of course, one didn’t know for sure until Magellan’s circumnavigation (about 1520 AD) or, perhaps, Zheng He’s voyages in the early 1400s.]
    Although we have no notion whether the ideas of Aristotle and the Athenian elite were part of any global consensus — because we don’t know that the rest of their society, not to mention mankind in general, accepted their views or findings as gospel — it would be safe to say that over 2,500 years ago the general notion was that the earth was flat (even if some also thought it was round). Notably, 2,500 years is a relatively small portion of the time human beings have spent on earth. Accordingly, I think it is accurate to talk about the “age-old” consensus regarding a flat earth.
    I should also note that in the Western World, at least, the consensus of a spherical world may be somewhat more recent, in part because of amnesia about Aristotle. And Zheng He notwithstanding, the Chinese who have always been more numerous than Western Europeans, did not buy into the notion of a spherical earth until the 17th century. [See Wikipedia link, above.]

  83. Alba (11:53:06) :

    [Goklany] also says:
    “One of the minor revelations in the CRU e-mails — in case one doubted it — is that scientists and science institutions are not disinterested in obtaining funding.”
    OK, it’s only £249,227.50…

    RESPONSE: Take a look at the site which has a searchable index of the CRU e-mails: http://www.eastangliaemails.com/search.php, and do a search for “funding”. Go through the e-mails that the search returns. Much more than £249,227.50 is involved. And these e-mails are just a small window into this matter.

  84. I see they are now reporting that Dr. Phil Jones says he considered suicide over the ‘Climategate’ affair. For all those involved this must be a very trying time. After the ‘shining hope’ of Copenhagen, this must be a ‘winter of discontent’ that they could never have imagined.

  85. A railroad engineer?
    Seems logical … when you want to railroad the entire planet.
    The right man for the job! lol.

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